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Looking to try something new? Check out our Debuts of the Month selection. You never know, one might become your favourite new author and a special discovery!
A very special book indeed, magical in all its senses, which has just won the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award for best book. Slow to get into and long, it is written in the style of the period in which it is set, Regency, which I felt added to its charm. It’s about magicians, different strands of magic, highly imaginative with many layers and intricate sub-plots and, despite the dusty language, is totally compelling. A highly intelligent alternative history which I urge you to read and become totally hooked. If you are interested click here to visit the publishers site. Comparison: Charles Palliser, Glen David Gold, Iain Pears.To view a reading guide for this title click here
This is a nice scenario for it takes the diverse lives of seven people over one week whose only real link is the school gate. From au pair to single father, teacher to deserted mum, all of life is exposed through these bruised families. The only problem is it doesn’t really conclude, just as our lives don’t.Comparison: Elizabeth Noble, Carmen Reid, Isabel Wolff.Similar this month: Melissa Hill, Barbara Delinsky.
This is an odd one, part ghost story, part love story and part murder story, itâ€™s protagonist is a man who can see dead people. He is one of lifeâ€™s failures even though he could make some money out of his â€˜afflictionâ€™. Getting into all sorts of scrapes, the only thing he really wants is his wife and daughter back, attempting that is tough. Itâ€™s not really spooky but its paranormal aspects are fascinating.Comparison: Audrey Niffenegger, Alice Sebold, Ben Sherwood.Similar this month: None but do try William Landay.
Every now and again a new crime novel comes along and you know it’s something special. This won the Crime Writers’ Association John Creasey award for Best First Crime Novel. It’s first rate. A tale of corruption with an ending you really can’t guess; it’s mesmerising stuff.Comparison: Scott Turow, Richard North Patterson, Dennis Lehane.Similar this month: None but try Lisa Scottoline or James Patterson.
She knew she shouldnâ€™t befriend the hurting boy but memories of her own pain and his obvious need for help places her, as head teacher, in an ideal position to â€˜interfereâ€™. What she finds is a hurting Dad too. This is such a lovely tale of bereavement and tender understanding lightly handled in a charming, flowing, witty style.Comparison: Robyn Sisman, Jill Mansell, Anna Maxted.Similar this month: Alice Peterson, Noelle Harrison.
I donâ€™t know whether to start by telling you about the author, the book or the cover for all three are fascinating. Author first: A professional tennis player, she developed rheumatoid arthritis which put her in a wheelchair. She wrote about her courageous battle in A Will to Win. Now she is able to lead a relatively active life. The Book: An extraordinary, sensitive tale about waking up to responsibilities and living a meaningful life as a successful elder sister accepts her Down Syndrome sibling and finds the many sides of love. Warm, uplifting, emotional and very moving. Do read it. The cover: I really donâ€™t understand it! Comparison: Anna Maxted, Cecelia Ahern. Similar this month: Noelle Harrison, Lorna Landvik.
Do you remember Dynasty and Lace, great big eventful, passionate blockbusters? Well, this is one such. An area under-published at the moment but a book for all who love Desperate Housewives or Footballers’ Wives. It’s wonderful stuff. Rich, spoilt people, a rebellious daughter who knows she can do it on her own, and a nasty evil world to confront. It’s a cracking read, glamorous, sexy and totally compulsive.Comparison: Jilly Cooper, Jackie Collins, Louise Bagshawe.Similar this month: None but try Annabel Dilke, Sara MacDonald.
Young, witty, bitchy read of behind-the-scenes glamour as a small-town girl climbs the ladder of hairdressing success in New York. An autobiographical novel quite startling in some of its revelations.Comparison: Nicola Kraus and Emma McLaughlin, Belinda Jones, Plum Sykes.Similar this month: None but try Wendy Holden and Melissa Hill.
Shortlisted for the Spread the Word : Books to Talk About 2008.I adore the American small town dramatic novel, preferably with a murder, and this debut is one of the best in this area. The characterisation is superb, the prejudice and pettiness beautifully handled and the heroine has such a dilemma you really cannot see how she will get through. Suspenseful, addictive and truly memorable, it is a must-read if ever there was one.Comparison: Adriana Trigiani, Rebecca Wells, Alice Hoffman.Similar this month: None, but try Annabel Dilke or Nicky Pellegrino.
The title says it all for this is Italy and food, emotions and secrets, loyalties and a sense of place as three generations of women escape or return to this bewitching southern region. A really pleasant, comfortable, dual-time tale.Comparison: Joanne Harris, Elizabeth Buchan, Sarah Harrison.Similar this month: Sara MacDonald, Lisa Jewell.
A lovely new, warm, Irish voice telling the story of three friends and how outwardly their lives seem content but inwardly … oh dear. It is very much Cathy Kelly territory.Comparison: Cathy Kelly, Sheila O’Flanagan, Patricia Scanlan.Similar this month: Sinead Moriarty, Sophie King.
Fabulous First-time Fiction
Reading a fabulous debut is a truly thrilling reading experience. It can feel as though you are discovering a treasure hoard for the fervent bibliophile. Not only do you hold in your hands a gem of a book, but all the books yet to come. If you've been in at the start of a great series you’ll know exactly what we mean. You can rely on LoveReading to tell you about the debut’s that have called out to us, that give us that tingle of revelation. So do keep an eye out for our debut section on the site and in our newsletters where we highlight our favourites of the month. Our competition page is also a good place to haunt too!
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